JetSmarter is putting a push on full aircraft charter; Here are four reasons to be wary…and where JetSmarter says we were wrong!

JetSmarter

After moving its shared flight program from free seats to paid and scheduled flights to a crowdsourcing model, JetSmarter apparently wants to focus on being a charter broker

12.4.2018 – Editor’s Note:  After publishing this article, Sergey Petrossov, CEO of JetSmarter, reached out to me to say he didn’t think the article provided a fair view of the company’s on-demand charter program. Normally, I would contact a company with questions before publishing, but after being told three times over the past two-and-a-half months JetSmarter wasn’t going to answer my questions, I didn’t bother. The article was also designed to highlight four places I saw shortcomings in their offerings. However, I have happily integrated Petrossov’s responses to my points in red and as always welcome any critiques people have on what I publish.”

Despite mounting lawsuits, JetSmarter is now more aggressively marketing full aircraft charters, apparently trying to compete with a host of online and offline brokers. While the sharing economy private jet provider has always sold full aircraft charters, it recently began displaying options for full aircraft charters when searching for flights, which are now apparently nearly all built on a crowdsourcing model as opposed to its previous model of having scheduled private jet flights to book by the seat.

JetSmarter plans expansion despite new lawsuits, including from one customer who paid $87,500

JetSmarter

The latest lawsuits bring to at least five the number of actions alleging fraud against the Ft. Lauderdale-based sharing economy private jet membership service

 

As a lawsuit seeking at least $2 million against it continues with a hearing scheduled for early December in Los Angeles, JetSmarter has been hit with two more lawsuits. The first one was filed October 16th in The United States District Court For The Eastern District Of Wisconsin, at least the fourth since August, and accuses the Fort Lauderdale-based sharing economy private jet service with breach of contract, breach of good faith and fraudulent representation. The lawsuit seeks at least $75,000 in compensatory damages, undisclosed punitive damages, attorney’s fees and other relief that the court deems proper. In another lawsuit, filed today in the Southern District of Florida, Illinois-based Joann Bachewicz is seeking at least $300,0000 after she paid $87,500 for a three-year membership JetSmarter represented as having a $150,000 value. 

What Jet Smarter’s new by-the-seat private jet pricing structure means to you

Earlier this month JetSmarter allowed non-members to start booking flights. We’ve analyzed dozens of upcoming flights so you can see the price of these shared private jet flights

 

Earlier this month Private Jet Card Comparisons was first to report on JetSmarter’s move to allow non-members to book seats on its scheduled private jet flights. It also began allowing non-members to start their own shared charter flights. Needless to say, the move has raised the ire of non-members who were paying $7,950 ($4,950 annual fee plus $3,000 initiation charge) or more to join. JetSmarter’s CEO Sergey Petrossov told us that non-members would pay significantly higher prices than members. He said the idea was to generate trial, and then by making the difference significant, encourage newcomers to sign for membership.

 

At the same time, members who bought under terms that ended earlier this year which provided for free flights under three hours are complaining that there is lower availability to use their tokens – the no-cost currency for free flights – meaning they are now faced with paying for flights. If one wonders if the NetFlix model of paying one price and flying as much as you want or can works, the original model for JetSmarter, one needs only look as far as Surf Air’s troubles that came to light last weekend. While it has yet to be determined if JetSmarter’s model of charging for each flight will be profitable for the company, we decided to take a look at how the JetSmarter prices are shaking out.

 

JetSmarter Routes and Pricing

 

We specifically looked at New York to Florida routes as those are the ones where JetSmarter management says they have successfully made the semi-private private jet model work, plus routes from Chicago and Dallas where the company said it would be trying to gain new members with attractive non-member pricing. We only looked at flights that have availability to reserve seats as sold out flights don’t provide pricing information. All pricing comes from tech driven JetSmarter’s app, which is the central tool for the private aviation crowdsourcing play.

 

In terms of the prices members pay, in our analysis of 45 of JetSmarter’s scheduled shared private jet flights over the next month, we found members get an average 38.6% discount over non-members. The average non-member one-way private jet cost for a seat is $1,968 and the average member one-way private jet price for a seat is $1,207, so members save an average of $760 per flight.

 

We thought it was surprising that eight of the 11 biggest flight discounts for members – all over 49% – were between Chicago Midway Airport and Van Nuys Airport serving Los Angeles. In some cases, non-members are being asked to pay over $1,000 more, for example, $2,750 to $1,350. That would seem to fly in the face of JetSmarter’s goal of getting more new members in developmental markets, Chicago being one the company specifically referenced.

 

In terms of the markets where percentage-wise there was the least difference were flights between South Florida and Dallas to and from New York’s various airports, including Westchester County White Plains, Morristown, Farmingdale and Teterboro.

 

Will JetSmarter be able to pull commercial airline fliers over to the world of semiprivate flights? JetSmarter customers only have to show up at the private jet terminal 30 minutes before flights and usually are out of the airport 10 to 15 minutes or less after pulling up to the FBO. It means you can save a solid one to two hours of travel time using JetSmarter. The best price we found between South Florida and New York was $1,385 for non-members on July 7. Google Flights shows one-way nonstop first class flights from $327 to $588 on that day. From Dallas Love Field to Westchester County where non-members pay $1,135 on July 2 and July 19, the two dates there were flights with seats for sales – first class nonstop fares on Delta Air Lines and American Airlines range from $400 to $525. Only July 19, JetSmarter was at least in the game with nonstop first class fares ranging between $283 and $1,753.

 

Of course, one key question is how many of JetSmarter’s current members who joined when flights under three hours were free will now be willing to pay an average of over $1,000 per flight, at least for the routes that we checked out.

 

Below is our full private jet pricing comparisons of seats being sold by JetSmarter:

 

Route Date Aircraft Non-Member Member Discount Member Price  

Member Savings %

Van Nuys – Chicago Midway 12-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $2,140 $1,190 $950 55.6%
Van Nuys – Chicago Midway 19-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,850 $1,020 $830 55.1%
Chicago Midway – Van Nuys 23-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $2,400 $1,310 $1,090 54.6%
Palm Beach – White Plains 22-Jul Challenger 850 $1,980 $1,080 $900 54.5%
Van Nuys – Chicago Midway 5-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,755 $945 $810 53.8%
Chicago Midway – Van Nuys 9-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $2,550 $1,340 $1,210 52.5%
Van Nuys – Chicago Midway 26-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $2,290 $1,190 $1,100 52.0%
Ibiza – London Luton 15-Jul Citation CJ2 $1,535 $785 $750 51.1%
London Luton – Ibiza 6-Jul Citation CJ2 $1,920 $980 $940 51.0%
Chicago Midway – Van Nuys 16-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $2,705 $1,355 $1,350 50.1%
Chicago Midway – Van Nuys 2-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $2,605 $1,275 $1,330 48.9%
White Plains – Ft. Lauderdale 15-Jul Challenger 850 $2,375 $1,025 $1,350 43.2%
Nice – London Biggin Hill 30-Jun Citation CJ3 $1,330 $570 $760 42.9%
Nice – London Luton 13-Jul Citation CJ3 $1,445 $615 $830 42.6%
Nice – London City 15-Jul Citation CJ3 $1,685 $705 $980 41.8%
Nice – London City 1-Jul Citation CJ3 $1,690 $705 $985 41.7%
Farmingdale – Opa Locka 2-Jul Legacy 600 $2,475 $1,020 $1,455 41.2%
Chicago Midway – Van Nuys 25-Jun Gulfstream IVSP $2,870 $1,180 $1,690 41.1%
Palm Beach – White Plains 15-Jul Challenger 850 $2,575 $1,045 $1,530 40.6%
White Plains – Ft. Lauderdale 5-Jul Challenger 850 $2,575 $1,045 $1,530 40.6%
White Plains – Palm Beach 9-Jul Challenger 850 $2,770 $1,110 $1,660 40.1%
London City – Nice 20-Jul Ciation Bravo $1,565 $625 $940 39.9%
Ft. Lauderdale – White Plains 20-Jul Challenger 850 $2,675 $1,055 $1,620 39.4%
Van Nuys – Chicago Midway 28-Jun Gulfstream IVSP $2,980 $1,140 $1,840 38.3%
Van Nuys – Chicago Midway 26-Jun Gulfstream IVSP $2,890 $1,060 $1,830 36.7%
White Plains – Palm Beach 13-Jul Challenger 850 $2,770 $1,015 $1,755 36.6%
White Plains – Palm Beach 6-Jul Challenger 850 $2,675 $920 $1,755 34.4%
White Plains – Palm Beach 8-Jul Falcon 2000 $2,675 $920 $1,755 34.4%
Ft. Lauderdale – Farmingdale 7-Jul Learjet 45 $1,385 $420 $965 30.3%
Boca Raton – Morristown 11-Jul Phenom 300 $1,850 $535 $1,315 28.9%
Dallas Love Field – Van Nuys 5-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,765 $490 $1,275 27.8%
Teterboro – Opa Locka 3-Jul Phenom 300 $1,650 $455 $1,195 27.6%
Van Nuys – Dallas Love Field 2-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,240 $340 $900 27.4%
Dallas Love Field – Van Nuys 19-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,340 $365 $975 27.2%
Van Nuys – Dallas Love Field 16-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,340 $365 $975 27.2%
White Plains – Opa Locka 28-Jun Phenom 300 $1,450 $375 $1,075 25.9%
Morristown – Ft. Lauderdale 25-Jun Learjet 60 $1,650 $350 $1,300 21.2%
White Plains – Dallas Love Field 5-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,420 $295 $1,125 20.8%
Dallas Love Field – White Plains 25-Jun Gulfstream IVSP $1,420 $295 $1,125 20.8%
White Plains – Dallas Love Field 28-Jun Gulfstream IVSP $1,230 $255 $975 20.7%
Dallas Love Field – White Plains 16-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,230 $255 $975 20.7%
White Plains – Dallas Love Field 19-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,135 $235 $900 20.7%
Dallas Love Field – White Plains 2-Jul Gulfstream IVSP $1,135 $235 $900 20.7%
Boca Raton – Morristown 25-Jun Learjet 60 $1,780 $365 $1,415 20.5%
Teterboro – Ft. Lauderdale 25-Jun Phenom 300 $1,780 $365 $1,415 20.5%

Source:  Private Jet Card Comparisons Analysis of private jet price per seat

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive: JetSmarter to launch non-member options and a jet card program

JetSmarter will allow non-members to buy seats on shuttles, start shared private jet charter flights, sell seats to non-members and is launching a jet card program

 

JetSmarter which earlier this year moved to a pricing model that entails paying for both seats on private jet shuttles and empty leg flights tomorrow is expected to announce it will start selling seats on its scheduled, shared private jet flights to non-members. In an exclusive interview with Private Jet Card Comparisons, CEO and founder Sergey Petrossov says the move is meant to grow sales at an even faster clip. He says the company revenues will end 2018 in the $300 million range. It launched in 2013. The latest news follows our exclusive report on May 10 about JetSmarter’s new membership pricing structure.

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